Paris Auto Show — 2012 2012 Toyota Auris

Sep 19, 2012
Author: Evgeniy Sherstobitov
Photos: Toyota
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New Auris is Toyota’s first step in its new product offensive in the European compact/family car market (C-segment), a model that has stronger styling, better dynamic performance, higher equipment levels and lower running costs than its predecessor. Its design and engineering reflect Toyota’s determination to produce cars that are more appealing to own and engaging to drive, while building on its long-established reputation for quality, durability and reliability. Improved aerodynamics, comprehensive weight saving and engine revisions all contribute to reducing fuel consumption and CO2 emissions across the range, helping bring down running costs.

Auris’s overall length has been increased by 30mm to 4,275, while the wheelbase remains the same at 2,600mm. Although both front and rear overhangs have been increased by 15mm, it remains one of the most compact cars in its class.

Significantly, the frontal surface area has been reduced by four per cent compared to the current model and, without impacting on passenger space, the overall height has been lowered by 55mm (45mm in the cabin and 10mm in the ride height), making new Auris one of the lowest cars in its segment. Together these changes yield considerable aerodynamic benefits, contributing to better fuel efficiency and driving dynamics.

Auris’s all-new exterior design maximises the benefits of the car’s lower height and centre of gravity. Overall the styling is sleeker and more confident, most notably in the design of the front end where it adopts the new face of Toyota with a stronger grille design and keen-edged headlamps and LED daytime running lights. The details include a large, trapezoidal lower grille set within the front bumper, and smaller upper grille which runs the full width between the headlights. The low, sweeping bonnet line is dominated by a new, larger Toyota badge, set lower than before.

The upper grille features a central chrome-plated horizontal bar, which extends into the headlamps to accentuate the width of the vehicle, going on to form an “eyebrow”. The headlamp packaging incorporates LED daytime running lights (standard on all grades) which give new Auris its individual lighting signature. The larger lower grille is flanked by integrated fog light housings with chrome surrounds. It has a piano black finish with a floating, lower chrome accent on the lip spoiler – another detail that emphasises the car’s width and planted stance. The side profile view is distinguished by the steeply raked windscreen, which flows seamlessly into the new, lower, drag-reducing, stepped roofline. In a further styling shift, the side glazing has been extended into three panels above a more pronounced rising belt line crease.

The door mirrors have been moved to within the glazed area and the B-pillar has a piano black finish, which, together with chrome detailing on the beltline, accentuates new Auris’s lower, sportier silhouette. The ride height has been lowered by 10mm, reducing the gap between the wheel arches and the tyres and aligning the tyres more closely with the bodywork to further emphasise the car’s sleeker and more streamlined appearance. New 15 and 16-inch wheelcaps and 16 and 17-inch alloy wheel designs have been introduced. At the rear new Auris has a wider opening tailgate, with an interplay of convex and concave surfaces, a wrap-around combination lamp design and new bumper profile, strengthening the car’s broad stance.

New Auris’s interior is more spacious and comfortable for everyone on board. There has also been an emphasis on raising the sensory quality of the cabin and creating a greater sense of visual unity through consistency of lighting, colours, finishes, and even the font used for the graphics. The cleaner design introduces stronger shapes, improved functionality and high quality materials. By accentuating the horizontal, the new dashboard emphasises the width and spaciousness of the cabin, with driver-focused arrangement of the instruments and switchgear.

The more driver-oriented nature of the design is further expressed in the strong curve of the hood over the instrument binnacle, which flows down the side of the centre console to help create a cockpit feel. The co-ordinated look is reflected in a marching satin silver finish used for the meter surrounds, centre stack, transmission tunnel trim, air conditioning and audio controls and the interior door handles. The air vents, audio panel, transmission tunnel, steering wheel and gear lever all have a silver coloured trim, while on higher grade models the dashboard itself is leather trimmed.

Consideration has been given to the tactile quality of every area which the car’s occupants will come into contact with. Soft touch materials feature on the instrument panel’s upper surface and the door trim shoulder areas, and the A-pillars are fabric trimmed. The gear knob has a new design and the steering wheel is wrapped in Nappa leather with single baseball stitching. The assist grips and door grips have a soft texture grain and the door armrests are padded.

The new front seats have longer fore and aft travel and an increase in height adjustment range. A new front sports seat design has also been introduced, with extra lateral support.

Entry level and mid-range models feature seats with a new fabric covering; sports grade models add contrasting red panels, and on higher grade models a combination of black velour with leather bolsters is used. An Ice Grey leather option will be exclusive to Auris Hybrid.
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